The California Film Commission has selected two big-budget films – “Call of the Wild” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Untitled #9” — as recipients of the state’s production tax credit.
Tarantino’s film, which was nabbed by Sony, is getting an $18 million credit. Fox’s “Call of the Wild” is getting a $17 million credit.
Both titles will be shot in-state. They join other recently announced big-budget projects for California including “Captain Marvel,” “Island Plaza,” “Midway,” “Ad Astra,” “Bumblebee,” and “Wrinkle in Time.”
The commission noted Monday that such projects would have been ineligible for tax credits under the state’s first-generation Program 1.0, which was closed to films with budgets exceeding $75 million.
“Despite aggressive incentives worldwide, California is once again competing for big projects because we’re able to provide the best overall value,” said California Film Commission executive director Amy Lemisch. “Films today can be shot just about anywhere, so it’s great to see so much production returning to the Golden State.”
Tarantino’s film, which has been set up at Sony, will received an $18 million tax credit after it completes production. The story is set in 1969 and deals with impact of the murders by the Manson Family. Fox will receive a $17.1 million credit for “Call of the Wild,” a project based on the Jack London novel.
The 2015-16 fiscal year marked a major expansion for the seven-year-old tax credit program, aimed at halting the erosion of California-based production to states with bigger incentives, such as Georgia and New York. The annual allocation rose from $100 million to $330 million, and applications are ranked on how many jobs they will produce, rather than being selected by lottery.
The program expansion, enacted in 2014 by California lawmakers, covers five years and $1.55 billion in tax credits. The credit is set at 20%, but producers are eligible for an additional 5% “uplift” if they shoot outside the L.A. zone, commit to music scoring or music track recording in the state, or to do visual effects in California.
Lemisch noted that in years past, several films set in California were shot in other locales where tax credits are more generous. Notable examples include “San Andreas” (Australia), “Godzilla” (Vancouver), “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” (Vancouver and Louisiana), “Battle: Los Angeles” (Louisiana), and “Million Dollar Arm” (Georgia).
The tax credit allocation announced Monday reserves $62.8 million in credits for 11 films (four independent, seven non-independent). In addition to the two big-budget films, other notable projects include “Destroyer” directed by Karyn Kusama and starring Nicole Kidman, and an untitled Dan Gilroy project starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo. A total of 54 projects (37 independent, 17 non-independent) applied for credits during the Oct. 16-20 application period.
“Everyone associated with our film is deeply thankful for the tax credit,” said Gilroy. “In California, we can draw on an unparalleled variety of locations and a deep pool of talent stretching back generations. There’s a reason this place was the movie capital of the world for so many decades. Getting the tax credit is great for us and the production community that calls L.A. home.”
The commission said the 11 film projects are on track to employ nearly 2,500 cast and crew, and generate more than $320 million in qualified spending (defined as wages to below-the-line workers and payments for equipment/vendors).